With sadness and gratitude

Yesterday, I attended John Bierman’s funeral at All Saints Episcopal Church, sadly, but with much gratitude for John’s gifts to Northfield and to me.

Others can tell more about how the Biermans have been part of the bedrock of the Northfield business community for several generations and will be for generations to come. And pillars of All Saints Church. Also active, generous community members.  And more.

I got to know John and Betsy Bierman at All Saints, I really got to know John when I became All Saints’ treasurer.  I suspect most members of the congregation never read the treasurer’s reports, but John certainly did and he read them carefully.  Previous treasurers warned me to watch out for John’s interrogations about budget and spending.  Really, there was nothing to fear – John asked good, tough questions – because the church, too, needed to be managed like a business – and his review and input were always welcome to me.  I should add, though, that the questions didn’t just happen at church, but I know I answered a few in the dairy section of the grocery store and several at grandchildrens’ school events.

John and Betsy Bierman were also among my first political supporters when I ran for mayor against Lee Lansing – I am honored and grateful for that early confidence and try to follow John’s model of tough questions, hard work and a sense of humor.

I pray for grace, strength and peace for Betsy and all the Biermans and in thanksgiving for John’s life.